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After the Second Global War and the American Revolutionary War, the Byzantine Empire had been thrown deep into debt. The Byzantine economy was near the brink of ruin, and the people were the ones paying for it. Taxes had been pushed to the maximum profit, but the economy still didn't recover, while the nobility was barely taxed. The general economy of Europe was ind decline, and the Byzantines were unable to receive loans from any of their allies. The Byzantine economy was on the brink of collapse, and one final event would do it.
In November of 1792, the Spanish Empire called in on the Byzantines loans, and the Byzantines, unable to pay them, the Byzantine Empire fell into an economic depression. The Byzantine people began protesting their high taxes, political groups tried to unite in the government against the high taxes. Other high poinst of conflict were the low amount of food the people received, the expenses of the Byzantines overseas empire, the separation of the upper and lower classes economically, and the suppression of politics in the lower and middle class.Eventually, the people became fed up with the government and their suppressed rights, and it happened on July 14, 1794, 1,000 armed citizens stormed the Fpoupio (Greek for Fortress) in Constantinople, defended by only 114 men and 30 cannons, the citizens ran up to the fortress, where the doors were opened by rebellious soldiers, and the officers were all killed. The weapons were used to arm the people, who ended up storming many of the government buildings in the area. Emperor Loudovikos III, unsure of what to do, fled to the other side of the Boshphorus, where he was confronted with a similar general uprising. He ended up fleeing the country, where he was greeted as a guest by King Louis XVI. Meanwhile, the army moved in to handle the uprising, although some chose the enemy side. Eventually, Alexander Georgios, now a Field Marshal, and he decided not to affiliate with either side. The country split into three main sections, those supporting the king, lead by the noblemen, those supporting the revolutionaries, mainly the lower class citizens, and those supporting Alexander, where support often varied.
Campaign of Egypt
In March 1795, with an army of 150,000 loyal soldiers, Alexander Georgios, after having proclaiming himself Interim Counsul of the Byzantine Empire, launched a naval invasion of Aegpytus with the captured the navy from Greece. His army landed at Alexandria on March 27, and the city fell after just 2 days of fighting, and Georgios was greeted as the liberator in a city that had been a hold-out against the revolutionary politics of the south, but occupied bt them none-the-less. Alexander lead his forces Damanhur, one of the three revolutionary defended towns that stood in his way of Cairo, the focal point of the revolution in the south. The 12,000 men stationed in Damanhur defended the town with 130 cannons and 12 riverboats. But when Georgios' forces marched against Damanhur, they were accompanied by 3 light frigates, which quickly destroyed or damaged all revolutionary riverboats. Damanhur was taken after a four day battle, and captured forces in the city were sent back to Alexandria as prisoners.
Alexander then marched south to Tanta, where they found surprisingly little resistance, and marched their forces out down to Banha, the last town before Cairo. Meanwhile, 100,000 reinforcements arrived from Greece, who marched continuously around the Nile Delta to capture the enemy towns, which fell one after another in quick succession. The two forces linked up at Cairo on May 4, where they then marched south on Cairo, combining to a force of 240,000. Alexander's forces surrounded the city, however, one thing he seemed unable to stop was enemy using the Nile River to transport supplies into Cairo from the south. However, four light frigates finally pushed through and cut off all supplies by water, forcing the rebels into isolation. Eventually on May 18, the city fell to Alexander's forces, with all enemy forces, killed, wounded, or captured. Little resistance continued in the area following this, and eventually the remaining provinces in the area joined Alexander's faction in the war.
Campaign in Judea
With the south pacified, the forces of General Alexander now moved into Judea to quell another mainstay of the revolution. The Reformist Byzantine Army as it was now called, marched with 250,000 men into Judea in October 1797. Meanwhile, an emergency session of the Byzantium Pact convened in Paris, where they put forward what the organization should do in the presence of the raging civil war. The Byzantium Pact was now made up of Prussia, France, Spain, Britain, the United States, and Portugal, and they decided to send an expeditionary force to the Byzantine Empire to bring, order. But the Byzantium Pact members couldn't decide which side to defend, eventually the American representative, Thomas Jefferson gave a speech defending Alexander Georgios and eventually when the Byzantium Pact put it to a final vote, the result was a 6-0 vote for supporting the Reformists.
The Byzantium Pact Coalition Force, as it was called, landed in Judea, and occupied the area around Tyre in March of 1798, where they were met by the Byzantine People's Revolutionary Army, a force formed to unite the revolutionary armies who had been operating independently in the region. The Reformist Army, meanwhile, had marched through the revolutionary-held Sinai Peninsula and into Eilat, and then around deep into Judea, and around the city of Beersheba. There, 20,000 Revolutionaries had build a formidable fortress, and were prepared to take on the Reformist Army. Reformist forces, however, easily overwhelmed the quickly-built fortress town, and took 8,000 prisoner, most of which were sent back to be held prisoner in Macedonia. They then marched along what was called the Religious Path, a road leading from Bethsheba to Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Luckily, the revolutionaries had left Bethlehem undefended, and many of the Christians in the army paid their respects and prayed at the local church in celebration of Christmas.
Meanwhile, the Coalition Force marched south to capture Haifa in May of 1798, and finally was able to reach the outskirts of Jerusalem in March of 1799. There they found Alexander's forces had been laying a siege to the city for two weeks already, and when the Reformists broke through the city's defenses, the Coalition army marched through the breach and helped storm what little defenses were left in the city. Alexander finally met the Coalition's commander-in-chief, French general Napoleon Bonaparte, where they made an agreement to march into the Anatolian, where they knew they would find a massive force of Revolutionaries.
Campaign in the Anatolian and the Constantinople Campaign
Antioch was assaulted in July of 1800, where they met 40,000 Revolutionary soldiers, and then took it when a small group of traitorous revolutionary soldiers sneaked out of the city and gave up the weakest point of the city's defences. Their 20 cannons easily knocked out the enemy's defenses, and the city's defences soon fell afterwards. The combined forces, now under Alexander Georgios as the United Republican Army of Byzantium, marched along the Great Higway, a two-part highway connecting Constantinople to both Baghdad and to Cairo. Along the route, they encountered the enemy at almost every point, but their superior numbers and leadership lead them ahead, and the arrived at the gates of Ankara in September of 1801.
The city, however, proved a major battle, as it was defended by 120,000 revolutionary soldiers. Georgios stated at his base 2 miles outside the city, "The revolutionaries operate with intense cunning, and their soldiers with intense spirit and valour, but regardless I'm convinced we will still win the day and march to Constantinople." Multiple engagements occurred outside the city, but allied cavalry quickly defeated any attempt for the rebels to escape the city, which finally fell on April 25, 1802. The Republican forces now march northwest and came within miles of Constantinople.
The Revolutionary Army of Constantinople, numbering at 300,000 men, proved a serious threat, as did its commander-in-chief Georgios Karaiskakis. Now the Revolutionary Army had built a serious series of defenses around Constantinople and the surrounding area. The allies, however, engaged the so-called Constantinople Line, with great success and soon broke through on the flanks. As the flanks became defenseless, the line became a pocket of resistance and was surrounded, forcing many units to surrender. Now with Constantinople exposed, Karaiskakis began working on building the city's defenses, and the Siege of Constantinople began on May 4, 1803.
However, attacking the city proved a moral dilemma for Alexander, if he attacked from the east, he threatened many Byzantine national landmarks, and if he attacked by land, he would have to take down the Theodosian Walls, another Byzantine national treasure. So he opted for a third option, he would go through the naval defenses around the Golden Horn, and then land his forces in the city. The Reformists quickly moved into the city and now took 40% of the city within just one week, and now that the Republicans were able to march into the city, a constant flow of supplies from across the Bosphorus Strait. Eventually, the revolutionary forces were pushed out of Constantinople, where they retreated to meet up with their new ally, as the Russians and Austrians now formed a force in the defence of the revolutionaries.
Campaign in the Balkans
The Republican Army now had one last job to do, finish off a huge army of Byzantine Revolutionaries and their marching foreign supporters. Alexander marched his army, now 1,200,000 men strong against what may have been nearly twice that number marching from Russia and Austria. Alexander's plan was to cut off the Russians before they could reach the revolutionary army, and the campaign would be held in the Balkans. The Byzantines first met the Russians at the fields around Chisinau, where 20,000 Russians engaged 35,000 Byzantines on September 25, 1804. The Russians fought hard to defend the high ground, but the Byzantine 14th Riflemen Brigade, with 4,000 men, marched from uphill, and attacked the Russians cavalry, who planned to charge down towards the Byzantine's infantry. The Russians left flank collapsed, and Byzantine infantry marched on the flat ground, and eventually the Russian center withdrew, ending the Battle of Chisinau.
The Russian's advance stalled, and the hope of meeting the entire army up with the revolutionaries began to fade. The Russians made the heavily fatal decision to divide up their armies and marched towards the rebel-held Balkans. The Byzantines marched united and picked off the Russians forces one by one, by the time Russian soldiers linked up with revolutionary forces, there were only 34,000 Russians left. The Byzantines finally felt they were able to deal the decisive blow against the enemy army, and that blow would come at Belgrade.
Belgrade had become the center of the Byzantine revolutionaries, and now if the city fell to the Byzantine army, the revolution would die, which the Byzantines new would bring a final peace. Byzantine regiments arrived outside Belgrade in October 1805, but what they found was a city undefended, the entire enemy army, numbering at 250,000 had already marched south and attacked Greece. Meanwhile, a naval task force of 41 Austrian and revolutionary ships sailed around the Austrian coast, but was ambushed by a Byzantine fleet of 33 ships commanded by Byzantine admiral Constantine Kanaris. The enemy fleet was split into 2 pieces, and the Byzantines quickly dispersed the enemy fleet, who limped back to port in shambles. Meanwhile, the enemy army had arrived outside Thebes, where Alexander had marched to defend Athens, the greatest logistical feet of the time. The two armies engaged each other in May 1807, and finally the Byzantine Revolutionary Army had fallen into collapse, their supply lines had been cut off, their commanders had fled, and units surrendered one after another. Georgios Karaiskakis was killed in the fighting when he fell of his horse and got stabbed in the stomach by a bayonet. The Byzantine Civil War and now all that was needed was a new constitution to bring a new empire into creation.
Constitution of 1812 and Aftermath
After five years of writing, the Byzantine Provisional Senate had finally worked out a new constitution for the Byzantine Empire, the main changes are as following:
- Freedom of speech, peaceful protest, the press, religion, politics, right to petition, and assembly
- The government shall be divided into three branches, Executive, Legislative, and Judicial
- Each branch will be divided up into a federal, provincial, and local level
- the federal Legislative branch shall be divided up into two houses: The Senate, as the upper house, and the Representative Assembly as the lower house
- The Emperor shall remain in power as the official head of state and of the executive branch and as the head of the army and shall have veto power only over military issues
- Except for the Emperor, all government officials shall either be elected by the citizens of the Empire or appointed by elected officials except for high-ranking military officials, who will be appointed by the Emperor
- The Senate shall have 2 members for each province, and decide on matters of constitutional amendments, shall have the power to try for the impeachment of the Consul, and each Senator shall serve for four years
- The Representative Assembly shall have members for each province based on that province's population, and shall have the power to impeach the Consul, has total control of the federal budget, which must be approved by the Consul, and are elected every 3 years
The new Constitution was ratified on June 11, 1812, which became known as Constitution Day in the Byzantine Empire. An immediate result of the Constitution was the development of political parties to replace the former political groups called Demes. The two main political parties were the conservative, National Reformist Party, and the liberal, Popular Movement, and in 1813 the first popularly elected Consul came to power, Alexander Georgios, as the leader of the National Reformist Party, which also took control of the Senate and Representative Assemebly.
With the Byzantine Empire restored and the Emperor back in Constantinople, the Byzantine Empire had shifted from an Absolute Monarchy to a Federal Constitutional Monarchy. Now that the Empire had been changed, the economy grew and different regions began developing different economic. The Balkans and Anatolian became the centers of manufacturing and industry, North Africa became a center for agriculture, Arabia became the center for merchant trade between Europe and Asia and Africa, and Judea and Mesopotamia became mixed in this with both industry and agricultural centers placed around the area. Now the Byzantine Empire was on a new rise, but they would have one more major power to beat, Russia.